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What's up with the RR?

by NorthEndDinerDude!
on 9/11/2011 @ 8:21pm
Driving though Tacoma lately has gotten me wondering one thing: Why isn't the railroad under ground? It decreases the look of the city and is not going to help us in the long run! Let me know what YOU think!

by KevinFreitas on 9/11/2011 @ 8:35pm
My guess is that the gravelly geology of our area isn't great for an extensive tunnel network. New York's subways are built into more solid bedrock (granite, I believe?) which is why they were able to build so long ago -- the engineering to fight nature wasn't so difficult. We could do it now but the costs would be astronomical.

Along this line, however, it'd be great to find a way to bury (or remove) the track along Schuster Pkwy/Ruston Way to make that a more tourism-friendly waterfront. Me thinks removal of these tracks is already in the master plans somewhere mostly because of the D-M street track extension being primarily built now in south downtown Tacoma for the Sounder. It's been said Amtrak will likely use this route to cut something like 8 minutes off travel time north/south through Tacoma. I'd imagine freight can't be far behind rendering the tracks that go along the water (granted, the most beautiful part of the local Tacoma to Portland train journey) worthless.

by Nick K. on 9/11/2011 @ 10:34pm
I wouldn't say it decreases the look of the city. If the tracks were underground I probably wouldn't drive through downtown nearly as much.

At least the National Railway Historical Society liked them.

Unfortunately (I guess), the future Amtrak proposal is largely to free up the bottleneck for freight that occurs at the single track tunnel under Ruston.

by KevinFreitas on 9/11/2011 @ 10:57pm
Yeah, I'm a fan of our rail heritage here and don't think it detracts much overall. I'm with Nick K, however, and am truly bummed that stunning part of the Amtrak route will change.

by low bar on 9/11/2011 @ 11:21pm
There aren't enough trains. Its silly small countries in Europe with almost no space to hide so called eyes sores like rails, can do this without said eyesores being a negative cultural impact, but here in the northwest where we've got SHIT TONS of space we can't have a train system that goes around the sound from fucking Port Angeles all the way to down town Vancouver BC and back and forth to the coast. Maybe thats why the economy is kinda stronger in Europe. Like the whole causality to our shit bird US Economy lies in stupid easy to fix things like not having enough trains. But then you'd think demand for fuel here would drop driving the price of gas down. Which doesn't happen in Europe. All I'm saying is, it's mfing freakonomics.

by L.S.Erhardt on 9/11/2011 @ 11:41pm
What's wrong with trains?
What's wrong with factories?

What's wrong with anything being in plain sight?

by KevinFreitas on 9/11/2011 @ 11:42pm
Oh, gawd I'd love if there were trains to the coast, Port Angeles, and such!

by The Jinxmedic on 9/12/2011 @ 6:06am
Wahhh... The trains, the industry in the port, and yes- ships - represent our economy, and all of them were here for far longer than you were, unless you are older than 120 or so. (if that's the case, then I'll back down and buy you a birthday cake with LOTS of candles).

Tacoma is a working city, and that industry is something to be proud of, not hide.

by NineInchNachos on 9/12/2011 @ 7:47am
more chocho trains please. our honeymoon in italy, we travelled the country by train. you can travel all europe by train... and they all use the same money now!

Also the new lightrail from seatac to seattle is awesome. Has a very european feel to it.

by NineInchNachos on 9/12/2011 @ 7:49am
why can we put the ugly-american suv dealerships underground?

by fredo on 9/12/2011 @ 7:58am
RE the underground railways.

They tried to put an underground railway through Tacoma about 100 years ago or so. It was in the vicinity of Star Ice and extended south more or less where Center Street is today. It was never completed because (I think) of caveins. For years it was used as a garbage dump for lots of Taverns which bordered the project. As a collector of old beer memorabilia I'd love to get down in there and look through the old refuse.

by Jesse on 9/12/2011 @ 8:28am
I'd love to see the trains by the Foss waterfront downtown to be put underground or diverted. Let's kill the freeway north of 21st while we're at it and create more city blocks and a REAL connection to our waterfront in that area.

by NineInchNachos on 9/12/2011 @ 9:07am
the trains by the waterfront will be underwater before too long thanks to the deadly planet/jobs-killing green-house gasses they and the port create.

by tacoma1 on 9/12/2011 @ 9:30am
Ha, good one NIN

It would certainly solve the problem on how to connect Downtown to the waterfront.

It would be interesting to know how much it would cost to put a tunnel in along Ruston and Schuster Speedway. Probably a whole bunch. Seattle's spending billions on their car tunnel.

What if they could bore a tunnel under No. Tacoma, and then swap BN the real estate that is currently under the RR tracks for the tunnel real estate. Then there might be enough revenue generation from the sale of city owned waterfront property to pay for the tunnel.

by The Jinxmedic on 9/12/2011 @ 9:55am
Let's save Old City Hall and get some chain-retailers downtown before we start worrying about some multi-billion dollar tunnel just because Seattle is getting one.

Seattle's tunnel will ultimately be a disaster for their downtown, which will become evident once traffic moves to the surface streets in order to avoid the tunnel fees and load restrictions.

I'll say again, if you are upset by the Port of Tacoma, trains, ships, industry, and miltary aircraft/vehicles/personnel- you're living in the wrong town. Move to Olympia.

by cisserosmiley on 9/12/2011 @ 10:07am
"every time we hear a train whistle we know that commerce is still vibrant in tacoma. every time we see a ship underway we know international trade is still alive. every time we see a low flying cargo airlifter or commercial airliner overhead we know that civilization is still here"

by The Jinxmedic on 9/12/2011 @ 10:16am

by NineInchNachos on 9/12/2011 @ 10:16am
"low flying cargo airlifter"

5 trillion dollars could have saved alot of old city halls...

by The Jinxmedic on 9/12/2011 @ 10:50am
Don't get me started about evaporated money. I could go on forever, and then I really wouldn't get any work done.